World and African Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Introduction

Despite efforts at the global and African levels, road safety remains a major challenge in Ethiopia and the region. The African Road Safety Day, which coincides with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims – (WDoR) will offer that an opportunity to honor all road crash s’ victims by bringing forward impactful knowledge sharing from their live experiences which helps to develop evidence-based road safety guidance that may contribute to reduction in further road  injuries and fatalities.

With strong support from WHO and UNRSC members, UN Member States adopted UN General Assembly resolution 60/5 in October 2005, calling for an annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims as an “appropriate acknowledgment for victims of road traffic crashes and their families”. Since then, the World Day of Remembrance has been increasingly marked in countries worldwide by governments, international agencies, and NGO members of the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety and the International Road Victims’ Partnership and their many associated organizations.

For over 20 years now, the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year to remember those who are no longer with us or have been disabled due to the road crashes. This year, WDR 2021 puts the spotlight on the reduction of traffic speeds. Lower speeds have the potential to prevent many deaths and serious injuries, in particular those of pedestrians and all other vulnerable road users including children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

This builds on the 6th UN Global Road Safety Week held in May 2021 and the ongoing project with the Global Road Safety Partnership that will contribute to the reduction of deaths and injuries on the roads by building non-governmental stakeholder support, specifically from the commercial transport sector, taxi associations and NGOs working in the transport sector. This is part of the Ministry of Transport’s advocacy efforts in the passage of speed management regulations.

In recent years, SNA, in collaboration with its partners, has resolutely joined several initiatives to benefit from the experience of other regions, institutions, and gain in efficiency by highlighting the very reasons for all the necessary actions during the Decade of Action, with the ambitious target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries.

 1.1 World and African Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims Commemoration by SNA and GRSP

The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) in collaboration with Save the Nation Association commemorated the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims at Aabet Hospital on November 19, 2021. During the event, representatives from different Taxis and Truck Drivers Associations,, Director/representative, Medical Doctors, Nurses, first responders for Road Traffic victims, and other relevant stakeholders were participated.

1.2 Beginning of the Commemoration

The event was started by Mr. Mesganaw Bimrew the Executive Director of Save the Nation, by having the opening speech and he welcomed the guests and stated that the day was the International Day of Commemoration of the world traffic victims and it is memorized on the third Sunday of November each year. He explained that World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims had been held here for the fifth time remembering in the same way as last year it was commemorated at Minilik II referral hospital in Addis AbabaHe also mentioned that the participants of the event  constituted from Taxis and Truck Drivers Association, Director/representative, Medical Doctors, Nurses, first responders Road Traffic victims, and other relevant stakeholders. He acknowledged all the participants for being in the commemoration and the GRSP that enabled the event to happen by providing financial and technical support for this particular event.

Finally, Mr. Misganaw highlighted Save the Nation’s efforts to reduce road traffic injury by supporting road safety training programs for elementary school students and installing road traffic safety sign billboards for prevention tasks. He also appreciated emergency medical workers in the hospitals, and law enforcement bodies. Furthermore, he recommended the collaborative task among different sectors and stated that Save the Nation would continue assisting in the reduction of road traffic injury in the future

The opening speech was followed by candlelight program in the remembrance of the victims and visit those who are in the emergency department and admitted in the trauma care department.   The representatives of Taxis and Truck drivers Associations and the invited guests explain their deep sorrow on road traffic injury situation in Ethiopia.

Picture: 1 Mr. Mesganaw making the opening speech

1.3 Road Traffic Victims Visiting at Aabet Hospital

Visiting road traffic victims at Aabet Hospitalwho were in bed and attending medication and treatment had been conducted. During the visit, Mr. Mesganaw discussed with the medical doctor about the treatment and care of the victims and he encouraged the victims to be more stronger and wishing them a speedy recovery.

Picture: 2 Mr. Mesganaw discussing with Medical Doctors while visiting Road Traffic Victims
Picture: 3 Mr. Mesganaw having a speech.

1.4 Speech done by Dr. Shimelis, Medical Director of Aabet Hospital

Dr. Shimelis, Medical Director of Menelik II Hospital explained that road traffic injury has bringing a huge resources competition of the emergency unit of the hospital. The large number of victims flow, the complexity of the crash outcomes and the longer hospital stay together make the treatment and care very expensive. He described that the hospital is in need of different types of equipment and in this regard Save the Nation would be a potential partner in facilitating this aid. Finally, he stated that the hospital would continue providing medical treatments for victims of road traffic accidents and added that the need for collaboration among concerned stakeholders to mitigate road traffic injury victims and highlighted the importance of having the taxis and truck drivers’ associations being able to participate and see the burden of traffic injury on the community.

Picture: 4 The medical doctor making speech

1.5 Speech done by President of taxi associations Mr. Nuredin  

President of taxi associations Mr. Nuredin explained that in reducing road traffic injury the collaborative efforts of   non-government, government, private sectors and school communities, especially those students trained on traffic safety plays a vital role. As a unique step towards the prevention of road traffic injury, he appreciated SNA and GRSP collaborative efforts on the engagements of other partners such as Taxi and truck drivers’ associations in making safe roads in Addis Ababa and throughout the country. Finally, he promised the audience his association is committed to support Save the Nation efforts in its new project of the sensitization project and stressed that road safety is everyone’s business.

Picture: 5 President of the Taxi Association making speech
Picture: 6 Participants making minute of silence for the victims

1.6 Best Practices and Earned Opportunities

Ø We were able to get them together the heads of the taxis and truck drivers associations to show them how the road traffic injury is affecting the community at large.   

Ø The association of these trucks and taxis drivers was very much touched seeing the victims lay down on bed injured this gave SNA fertile ground for the ongoing project with GRSP.

Picture: 7

1.7   Challenges

Ø  Not being able to get Traffic police department and some key decision Makers because of state of emergency.

Ø  Because of multiple reasons for traffic injuries there were so many questions from the participants that we were not able to answer. 

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